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November 8, 2013

Basketball Season Begins

The FIU men's basketball contest versus Kennesaw State on Sunday, Nov. 10, will air on ESPN3. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will mark the team's third contest of the 2013 KSU Men's Basketball Tournament.

Sunday will mark the third meeting all-time between FIU and KSU with the Panthers owning a 2-0 record in the series history. The last meeting between the two squads resulted in an 83-74 win for the Panthers on Nov. 21, 2007, at U.S. Century Bank Arena.

FIU will open the 2013-2014 season versus the Eastern Kentucky Colonels tonight in the first game of the 2013 KSU Men's Basketball Tournament in Kennesaw, Ga. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.

Head Coach Anthony Evans announced the addition of Mike Gillian to the FIU men's basketball staff.

"Coach Gillian is a tremendous addition to our staff," said Evans. "I have a lot of respect for him and have known him for some time. Coach Gillian is going to be an important piece to our success and will bring a wealth of knowledge as we enter our first season in Conference USA.

Gillian, who will serve as an assistant coach, comes to FIU after serving as the head coach at Longwood University for the past 10 years. As the longest tenured coach for the Lancers, Gillian built an NCAA Division I program from the ground up, including the four-year reclassification from Division II (2003-07). Coach Gillian's 10-year overall record at Longwood was 92-213, including an overall home court record of 67-58 in Willett Hall, where the program is an impressive 64-38 over the past eight years.

Records - FIU tips off the 2013-2014 season versus the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Friday's contest also marks the season opener for EKU.

Rankings - FIU is not ranked in either poll. EKU is not ranked in either poll.

FIU Head Coach Anthony Evans - Coach Evans (St. Thomas Aquinas '94) enters Friday's contest with a career record of 99-94 (.513 - seventh season overall) and 0-0 at FIU (.000 - first season)

EKU Head Coach Jeff Neubauer - Coach Neubauer (La Salle '93) enters Friday's contest with a career record at EKU of 143-112 (.561 - ninth season). Neubauer is 1-1 all-time versus the Panthers.

Series History - Friday's season opener will mark the fifth meeting all-time between FIU and EKU with the series tied, 2-2. The last meeting between the two teams resulted in an 81-67 win for the Colonels on Nov. 28, 2009.

FIU Tips Off 2013-2014 Season

The FIU men's basketball team tips off a new era on Friday, Nov. 8, as Head Coach Anthony Evans makes his Panther coaching debut versus the Eastern Kentucky Colonels as part of the KSU Men's Basketball Tournament. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m. ET.

The Panthers are coming off a 2012-2013 season in which the team won 18 games (most since 21 in 1997-1998) and was three points shy of appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1994-1995 campaign.

FIU returns its leading scorer from a year ago. Senior Tymell Murphy averaged 14.6 point-per-game while shooting 57.3 percent (196-of-342) from the floor. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., ranked No. 16 nationally in field goal percentage while leading the Sun Belt Conference. A First-Team NABC All-Region selection and a First-Team All-SBC honoree, Murphy also averaged a team-high 6.8 rebounds-per-game. Also returning for the Panthers is sophomore Jerome Frink, who finished his freshman campaign averaging 10.3 points-per-game and 6.3 rebounds-per-contest. Last season, Frink became the fourth freshman in FIU history to register 200-or-more rebounds, grabbing 201.

The Panthers welcome 11 newcomers to the squad this season, including Louisville transfer Rakeem Buckles, who will be making his first appearance in an NCAA contest since Jan. 16, 2011. Buckles, a native of Miami, Fla., played in 59 games for the Cardinals and was the Class 4A Player of the Year in the state of Florida during his senior year at Monsignor Pace. Also expected to take the court for the Panthers is redshirt senior Raymond Taylor, who transferred to FIU from intra-state rival Florida Atlantic. Taylor, who played three seasons for the Owls, finished his FAU career, scoring 1,037 points (No. 8 all-time at FAU) and tallying 425 assists (No. 3 all-time at FAU).

FIU averaged 69.1 points-per-game on 42.7 percent shooting last season, while allowing 69.0 points-per-game as the opposition converted 45.1 percent of its shots. The Panthers defense recorded 299 steals (third-most in school history) and forced their opponents to commit 569 turnovers, resulting in 647 points.

Coach Evans comes into Friday's game with 99 career victories and holds a 1-1 record all-time versus the Colonels.

FIU - Eastern Kentucky Series History

Friday's game between FIU and Eastern Kentucky will mark the fifth meeting between the two teams.

- The series is tied at 2-2.

- The last meeting between FIU and Eastern Kentucky resulted in an 81-67 win for the Colonels on Nov. 28, 2009, in Richmond, Ky.

- Friday's contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams at a neutral site.

- The Panthers will be looking for the team's first win versus the Colonels away from U.S. Century Bank Arena.

- FIU owns a 7-7 mark versus teams from the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).

- Head Coach Anthony Evans owns a 1-1 record versus Eastern Kentucky.

An FIU Victory Would....

- Improve FIU's record to 1-0.

- Improve FIU's non-conference record to 1-0.

- Improve FIU's record versus Eastern Kentucky to 3-2.

- Give FIU a 1-0 record in neutral site games in '13-'14.

- Give FIU a record of 1-0 in the month of November.

- Improve Head Coach Anthony Evans' career record to 100-94.

- Give Coach Evans his first win as FIU's head coach.

- Give FIU its 377th win (actual on-court record).

- Give FIU its 293rd Division I win (actual on-court record).

- Improve FIU's record to 1-0 outside of the state of Florida this season.

- Improve FIU's record all-time in season openers to 20-13.

FIU - By the Numbers (2012-2013)

- .707 - FIU's free-throw percentage - second-best in school history.

- 569 - number of turnovers forced by the Panthers.

- 206 - number of home victories at U.S. Century

Bank Arena following the 2012-2013 season.

- 201 - number of rebounds by Jerome Frink - fourth-most all-time at FIU by a freshman.

- 96 - number of 3-pointers made by Malik Smith - FIU single-season record.

- 69.1 - scoring average of the Panthers in 2012-2013 (No. 3 in the conference).

- 29.3 - percentage of points scored off turnovers for the Panthers.

- 18 - total number of wins for FIU - fourth-most in school history.

- 16 - national ranking for field-goal percentage (.573 - Tymell Murphy)

- 11 - total number of SBC conference wins - most SBC wins in school history.

- 10-3 - FIU's home record in 2012-2013.

- 9.3 - number of steals FIU averaged during the 2012-2013 season.

- 8 - national ranking of FIU in steals-per-game.

- 4 - seed of the Panthers in the 2013 SBC Tournament.

- 2 - number of SBC All-Tournament Team honorees.

- 1 - number of First-Team All-SBC selections - Tymell Murphy.

Season Openers

The FIU men's basketball team begins its 33rd season on Friday, Nov. 8, versus the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. In the 32 previous season-opening games, the Panthers have tallied 19-13 record. FIU has won two of its last three season openers, including a neutral-site victory over George Mason on Nov. 14, 2011, in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Tip-Off. The Panthers are no stranger to EKU in season openers, having defeated the Colonels, 99-77, on Nov. 22, 1997.

Versus the OVC

Friday's contest versus Eastern Kentucky will mark the 15th meeting all-time between FIU and a member of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Panthers enter Friday's game with a 7-7 record versus teams from the OVC. Tonight's game will mark the fifth meeting all-time between FIU and EKU with the series tied, 2-2.

Raining Threes

Entering Friday's game versus Eastern Kentucky, the FIU Panthers have converted at least one 3-point basket in 145-straight games, dating back to Dec. 20, 2008.

On this Date

During the 33-year history of the FIU men's basketball program, the Panthers have played never played on Nov. 8. Friday's contest will mark the first-ever contest for FIU on this date.


Head Coach Anthony Evans enters Friday's contest with 99-career victories. A win against Eastern Kentucky would not only give the Brooklyn, N.Y., native his first-career win but it would mark the 100th victory in his seventh season as an NCAA Division I head coach.

Murphy's Law

Senior Tymell Murphy comes into the 2013-2014 season having garnered a number of preseason accolades. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was named one of the 16 "Players to Watch" by Conference USA. He also earned preseason All-CUSA honors by Blue Ribbon Magazine, Second-Team All-C-USA honors by Lindy's , and First-Team All-C-USA honors by USA Today. Murphy scored 469 points last season, good for No. 5 all-time at FIU for points scored by a junior

33 Years of Basketball

The 2013-2014 men's basketball season marks the program's 33rd year. FIU began men's basketball during the 1981-1982 season. That year, led by Head Coach Rich Walker, the Panthers finished 11-16.

Playing the Percentages

Despite losing three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 18-14, the FIU men's basketball team returns 46.5 percent of its scoring from the 2012-2013 campaign. Leading the way is senior Tymell Murphy, who posted 468 points last season, followed by sophomore Jerome Frink, who added 326.


Although FIU lost of the team's second-leading scorer and top assist man from last season, the Panthers will add four transfers this season from three different teams - Louisville, Florida Atlantic and Colorado State. Redshirt senior Ray Taylor and redshirt junior Dennis Mavin join FIU after transferring from fellow C-USA opponent Florida Atlantic. Redshirt sophomore Cody Mann comes to FIU after player one season at Colorado State, while redshirt senior Rakeem Buckles returns home after playing three seasons at Louisville. All four players are from the "Sunshine State" - Buckles, Mann and Taylor are from Miami; Mavis is from Gainesville.

New Coach/New Conference

FIU enters the 2013-2014 season with some newness to the program. On April 16, 2013, Anthony Evans became the eighth coach in the history of the FIU men's basketball program. Having led the Norfolk State Spartans to back-to-back 20-win seasons, Evans enters the 2013-2014 campaign one win shy of his 100th career victory. The new campaign also marks FIU's entrance into Conference USA after being a member of the Sun Belt Conference since 1998-1999.

Beach Blanket Basketball

In mid-April, 2013, FIU completed the resurfacing of the court at U.S. Century Bank Arena. With its one-of-a-kind look the new floor, featuring a beach scene, is something that is expected to attract recruits and provide a home-court advantage.

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